Russia’s Return from Hiatus

Last week’s series of Russian flights near Alaska was an uptick in activity following a “hiatus” of Russian flights in that region, the Pentagon said Monday. Over four days last week, Russia flew Tu-95 Bear bombers near Alaska three times and flew a reconnaissance aircraft once, resulting in multiple intercepts by US and Canadian aircraft. All the flights and intercepts were conducted “safely and professionally,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday. The increased activity comes after Russian aircraft had not flown near Alaska for about two and a half years. While the Pentagon doesn’t know what Russia’s thinking was behind the intercepts, there was a maintenance issue with the bomber fleet that kept them grounded during this span. So the increase could be related to the aircraft returning to regular flight.